End of a 14-year-long wait by harassed residents of Bori Pakhadi, Hnaman Koliwada
URAN: The nearly four-hectare garbage dumping on mangroves at Uran across Mumbai harbour which once generated waves of stink will soon be beautified following a Bombay High Court order.
Uran Municipal Council (UMC), which was at the receiving end for dumping garbage on mangroves and wetland at Bori Pakhadi, has initiated the process of bio-mining the 14-year-old garbage mound. A private firm has been enrusted with the contract for separating wet garbage for compost and the rest for scientific disposal.
The bio-mining, costing Rs 10.45 lakhs, will be finished within three months, civic body Chief Officer Santosh Mali said. The entire area will be properly levelled and handed over to the Forest Department for conserving the mangroves, he said.
Welcoming the environmentally friendly process, NatConnect Foundation director B N Kumar said Uran garbage issue is now an ideal case study material for urban planners in dealing with garbage. The residents ran from pillar to post to get rid of the problem and the campaign saw NatConnet Foundation moving the Prime Minister thrice over pointing out the way in which the Swachh Bharat movement has been thrown to winds in Uran. The PMO responded by directing the Maharashtra Urban Development Department to look immediately look into the issue.
The residents and environmentalist have won the prolonged battle culminating in a series of strictures from the High Court last month while taking up a writ petition filed by the Shri Hanuman Koliwada Macchimar Vikas Sanstha Maryadit. Hanuman Koliwada, a resettlement of displaced fishing community from Sheva, is in the vicinity of the garbage dump at Bori Pakhadi which also has been posing health hazards.
UMC chief officer Mali said the daily garbage is now being transported to Chal near Panvel.
“We have set up a 24x7 security at the Bori Pakhadi site and installed CCTV cameras to keep vigil,” Mali said and explained that the INS Karanja contractors were caught red-handed and warned against dumping garbage here.
Bori Pakhadi residents, who had to brave the suffocating smoke from frequent fires at the dump apart from the stink and insect menace, now heaved a sigh of relief. “It is like end of a 14-year-long life term fight for justice,” said Samir Ashrit who along with Yuva Uraan platform spearheaded the campaign.